A Life Apart

30 01 2008

I am feeling vaguely philosophical today. Though, to be honest, I’m also slightly sleepy and the two sensations are incredibly similar.

This morning while running home from the gym I was considering the completely seperate-ness of human life. Bear with me while I attempt to unravel some cerebral snarls here.

It is literally impossible for one human being to make another do something. Certainly we can coerce one another or manipulate situations to achieve a desired effect, but we can’t make another human being choose to play along. For example, say I want to make you walk through a door. I can ask you nicely, but you might refuse. I could threaten you in some fashion, but you might still refuse. The decision to walk through the door, regardless of circumstances, has to be yours. I could carry you through the door bodily, but then I would be moving you, you would not have chosen to move yourself.

Pause and let that sink in for a moment.

Or say you fall in love with someone for all the right reasons. They are funny and good-looking etc etc ad infinitum. That person has a choice about how they feel about you. Further they have the choice to act on or not act on those feelings. You might ‘trick’ them into reciprocating by changing things about yourself, but even then it is their choice.

The point is, we Christians talk a lot about how everyone else seems to be missing the boat about God/Jesus/Grace/’being saved’. The fact is, though, all those people have made a choice. We cannot and God will not force them to do anything they don’t want to do. The Bible says that all of creation testifies of God. Therefore, by ignoring that ever-present testimony humanity has made a choice. And we can’t do one single thing about it.

Except pray.

Prayer seems to be the only exception to this rule. The complete self-abandonment of whole-hearted pray is capable of breaking down the most resistant barriers and releasing the Holy Spirit to do miracles. (At this point, if you don’t believe that God still does miracles HERE and NOW please leave me a one to two page paper on the verse that says “He is the same yesterday today and forever”.)

So what is the answer? In a world where the smallest amount of intimacy is achieved at huge cost and through enormous effort, and where intimacy is the cry of every heart we have only one option.

Pray.

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7 responses

30 01 2008
Jennifer James

You just put into words something I was trying to describe to an atheist I know… hah, good point about the yesterday today and forever thing.

You are mucho smarto, and I have nausea. (These two things are unrelated, but I felt like relaying them to you in the same sentence…)

31 01 2008
Jason Ericson

Absolutely. Very well said. I’m not a big fan of the whole “let’s see how many people we can save before we die” mantra. Among many other things, it puts too much emphasis on the “we can save” part. We can’t save anybody. But God can, and does.

And yeah, that bit about not being able to change people’s feelings about us…one of the hardest things about relationships, I think. I’ve been on both sides of the problem before, and it’s…loads of fun. A laugh-out-loud experience.

31 01 2008
walkingintherain

Jen- Thanks for combining my intelligence and your tummy troubles. It made me laugh.

Jason- You win the sarcasm award. I would sympathize with your relationship woes, but by and large I just don’t notice that kind of stuff. I am quite oblivious. (It’s not a good thing. At all.)
And I read yoru blog and felt compelled to listen to that one band, just because you told me to. I resisted and read some of your NZ entries instead. HA!

31 01 2008
Jennifer James

Erm. It’s almost my birthday.

31 01 2008
walkingintherain

It IS almost your birthday. And I love you moochly.

1 02 2008
Jason Ericson

Don’t notice which kind of stuff now? I didn’t think it was much to do with “noticing” than just thinking “Wow I really like this person, but there’s nothing I can do to make them like me,” or the other way around, “Wow this person apparently really likes me/is dating me and I just don’t feel the same way back, as hard as I try.” I got both situations in a row once! Fun times.

1 02 2008
walkingintherain

Oh man! That’s intense.

I don’t notice when people like me. And it takes me a long time to figure out I like them! I figure it’s grace- God’s protection. Plus, with the kind of things I want to do, it’s better to be unattached.

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